Title: The Female Persuasion
Author: Meg Wolitzer
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: April 3, 2018
My Rating: 3/5
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer- madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place- feels her inner world light up. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.
Greer is a college freshman when she meets Faith Frank. Faith is in her sixties and has been involved with the women’s movement for many years. Faith is encouraging to Greer, and even hires her later on in the story. This book follows Greer’s journey through college and young adulthood, where she explores her relationships and ambitions.
Told using multiple points of view, but most of the story is from Greer’s POV. At the start of the novel, Greer is smart, but she’s studying at her backup school due to issues with her parents. Her boyfriend is at another school, and she’s a little lonely and lost at the onset of the story. As she makes friends and gets involved in college, she starts to learn a little more about herself and develop a desire to get more involved with women’s rights. Faith is a strong influence on Greer. After Greer graduates college, she work with a foundation founded by Faith.
There are sisterhood and feminist ideas in this book, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. Greer and Faith are both flawed, and make some poor decisions. My favorite part of the story was Cory, Greer’s boyfriend. I find it interesting that the most intriguing character in a book about women, was a man.
This contemporary novel addresses some relevant topics, including feminism, privilege, and rape culture. While I see how it could promote some interesting discussions, it’s also kind of long and slow. I’m glad I read it, and it’s a good read for fans of contemporary women’s fiction.